This Tuesday, November 8, the last total lunar eclipse of the year will be observed. The phenomenon will be fully visible in Asia, Australia, the Pacific and North America. However, in Colombia it can be seen partially at dawn; will start at 4:09 am
The previous total lunar eclipse occurred in May this year. According to Alphonse Sterling, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, total lunar eclipses occur about once every year and a half on average. However, for this 2022 the Moon will be generous and will return with its spectacular astronomical event. Viewers should take advantage of the November eclipse because the next total lunar eclipse won’t happen until 2025.
What is and how does a lunar eclipse occur?
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) explains that an eclipse occurs when a planet or moon gets in the way of sunlight. Here on Earth, we can experience two kinds of eclipses: solar eclipses and lunar eclipses.
On this occasion, the total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth casts a complete shadow, called the umbra, on the Moon. Earth’s shadow is classified into two parts: the umbra, the innermost part of the shadow where direct sunlight is completely blocked, and the penumbra, the outermost part of the shadow where light is partially blocked. During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon and the Sun are on opposite sides of the Earth.
Why doesn’t it happen every month?
They do not occur every month since the Moon completes an orbit (which is the path that a physical object describes around another) around the Earth every 27 days. The reason is that the Moon’s orbit around Earth is tilted relative to Earth’s orbit around the Sun, so the Moon often passes above or below Earth’s shadow.
Lunar eclipses are only possible when the orbits are aligned so that the Moon is directly behind the Earth relative to the Sun. Another characteristic of a total lunar eclipse is the red hue of the Moon during totality. The red color occurs due to the refraction, filtering, and scattering of light by the Earth’s atmosphere.
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The British physicist, Lord Rayleigh, in the 19th century, called this color change “Rayleigh scattering”, and the scientist also explained that as a result of this phenomenon we see red sunrises and sunsets. “Sunlight collides with gases in the Earth’s atmosphere and, due to its shorter wavelength, blue light is filtered out, but red light is not easily scattered due to its longer wavelength,” reports the report. POT.
For people who want to see this event, NASA notes that no special eye protection is needed to view the eclipse, unlike solar eclipses (which occur during the day). Although the lunar eclipse can be seen with the naked eye, a pair of binoculars or a telescope can improve the view.